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JUMP

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Jump biography
JUMP is a band from England that started out in 1990, at that point in time consisting of Andy Barker (drums), Mo (keyboards), Hugh Gascoyne (bass), Steve hayes (guitars), Pete Davies (guitars) and John Dexter Jones (vocals).

The band started doing the live circuit, and released three studio albums in quick succession on independent label Salad Records- "The Winds of Change" (1991), "World of Wonder" (1993), "...and All the King's Men" (1994).

At this point in time the band had established themselves as a decent live and studio act, and gained lots of attention by playing with many different acts. This led to the band being offered a record deal by progressive rock specialist label Cyclops Records, and that Mark Kelly of MARILLION offered to produce their fourth studio album, "The Myth of Independence", released in 1995.

1998 saw the release of "Living in a Promised Land", and one year later the live album "The Freedom Train" was issued. At this point in time a rare occurence in this band's history took place, as Hugh Gascoyne left the band, replaced by Andy Faulkner (bass).

With this line-up change in order JUMP continued were they left off, releasing three more studio efforts in quick succession. "Matthew" (2000), "On Impulse" (2001) and "Home Songs" (2003) were created in between live gigs and tours; and then it was time for some further changes to happen.

Pete Davies left, replaced by Steve 'Ronnie' Rundle (guitar), and at the same time the band left Cyclops Records, all future productions by this outfit now being issued by Den-Tel Records.

With these alterations over and done with, JUMP has continued pretty much as they did in previous years, albeit toning down the touring and recording activity somewhat. The studio productions "A Man Was Made" saw the light in 2004, "Faithful Faithless" saw the lgiht in 2005, and in 2006 it was time for the band's second live album; "Something of the Night".

2008 saw the release of an EP with 3 new compositions, named "The New EP", and several live shows as a full band or acoustic trio were scheduled throughout the year.

In the 18 years this outfit have existed, they have done more than 1000 live shows, have opened for a plethora of acts in the British prog and rock scene, and have also introduced their own audience to up and coming acts which later have achieved critical or commercial succcess; such as Karnataka, Mostly Autumn, Dead Like Harry, White Buffalo, L...
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JUMP discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JUMP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 5 ratings
The Winds Of Change
1991
2.13 | 7 ratings
World Of Wonder
1993
3.23 | 15 ratings
...And All The Kings Men
1994
2.73 | 10 ratings
The Myth Of Independence
1995
3.29 | 16 ratings
Living In A Promised Land
1998
3.07 | 11 ratings
Matthew
2000
3.06 | 14 ratings
On Impulse
2001
3.08 | 14 ratings
Home Songs
2003
4.25 | 4 ratings
A Man Was Made
2004
3.83 | 6 ratings
Faithful Faithless
2005
3.95 | 24 ratings
The Beachcomber
2010
3.62 | 22 ratings
The Black Pilgrim
2013
3.93 | 19 ratings
Over The Top
2016

JUMP Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 4 ratings
The Freedom Train
1999
4.50 | 2 ratings
Something of the Night
2006

JUMP Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JUMP Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JUMP Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.18 | 3 ratings
The New (EP)
2008

JUMP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Over The Top by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 19 ratings

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Over The Top
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK band JUMP have been a going entity for more than a quarter of a century now, although this still will have them described as a part of the new scene in progressive rock by some. Self-described as an eclectic band, this is a venture with more than a dozen studio albums to their name, thousands of gigs too apparently, and at least so far rather safely tucked into the underground rock scene too for some reason. "Over the Top" is their latest studio production, and was self-released in the spring of 2016.

Jump is one of those bands where I just cannot understand why they haven't risen to a greater stature. These are well versed musicians and composers, with a good grasp for compelling melodies and with the experience to be effective in their songwriting as well as the execution of their tunes. A well oiled machine in that context, running smoothly and in a manner that should have a fairly broad reach. Lack of exposure may be a part of this obviously, but their main challenge may possibly be that they don't appear to orient themselves in towards any given niche market, and that the more mass market channels are closed to them.

In terms of progressive rock and related categories of music, I'd pretty much say that what Jump presents on this album is music residing somewhere in the middle between Marillion's "Misplaced Childhood" and Magnum's "On a Storyteller's Night". At times with tendencies towards one or the other, but more often the material consist of similar features and details but explore a sound that is, in fact, rather different from both of these. That some of the additional associations I noted were Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Procol Harum may just indicate something as far as this observation goes.

An additional dimension brought in to the overall sound of this band is folk music. Rarely in a distinctly purebred manner, but there's something of a folk music undercurrent in most of the songs here. Subtle and downplayed to a greater extent than dominant and out in the open, but still this is an album that has a certain vibe or atmosphere to it that corresponds with this aspect. Rather far removed from the Jethro Tull's of this world I should add, I'd rather look towards the older more purebred folk rock bands as a possible source of inspiration for this aspect of Jump's material, and again emphasize that on most occasions it is a subtle more than a strongly dominant presence.

Plucked guitar motifs combined or alternating with firm guitar riffs, at times giving some of the cuts more of a hard rock feel in places, with tasteful keyboards and organ details on top, are the main ingredients of the songs here. At times in a more delicate and ballad oriented manner, in other places with a firmer and harder general feel. Occasionally adding a darker touch to the atmospheres created. The vocals are well delivered and well controlled, and the mix and production suits the material perfectly. It's a well made album on all levels, and while perhaps not quite as complex as many other albums described inside a progressive rock context, quite a few of the songs are in fact a bit quirkier than what your first impressions will indicate.

Jump is one of many bands out there that deserves a broader audience, and with "Over the Top" I'd say that the band documents quite nicely that they are, indeed, not yet fit to be placed into the category the album title may suggest. Fans of mid 80's Marillion and Magnum would be something of a key audience for this band in my book, and those who are should spend a few minutes getting to know the music of this fine band.

 Over The Top by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 19 ratings

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Over The Top
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars "Over the Top" marks the 25th anniversary of JUMP's first album, and finds the band paradoxically at their most rock and folk oriented. Rock because the dual guitars are more than ever marked by authoritative riffs. Folk because the subject matter tilts towards social commentary and historical fiction, while the melodies seem traditionally inspired. From a prog rock point of view, most of the songs divert from the standard verse-chorus structure with shifting tempos and sometimes jarring arrangements, but, as with all JUMP releases, I caution the listener to sidestep any expectations of a neo prog nature and instead be prepared for a powerful modern yet retro rock album with dashes of folk. Did I say that this rocks far more than most in the prog universe?

As many times as I have listened, the two opening numbers remain my favourites, both supernaturally oriented tales of woe. The first recounts the sighting of a ghost being hung by a passer by who meets with the same fate for not seeing an officially sanctioned ghost. It's chilling and yet musically vibrant, not unlike many early STEELEYE SPAN tunes. The second is about a ship carrying riches diverted to its ruin by mysterious lights. GORDON LIGHTFOOT or CHRIS DE BURGH merging with STRAWBS might sound like this. Perhaps if you blended in some RED JASPER and OYSTERBAND you might get a bit closer still. Both of these tracks are delightfully archaic in a neo folk manner yet, again, much more rock oriented.

The album returns to its critique of religion on "End of Days", "Old Gods", and, to a lesser extent, "Behind the Lines" and "Vagrant's Song". The best of these is "End of Days", about how those hard done by at the hands of organized religion might exact revenge, immersed in another heavy guitar motif. It's a fine line between honest criticism of social institutions and sermonizing, which John Dexter Jones largely avoids, although on the softer tunes like "The Vagrant's Song", I'm not moved enough by the music and am somewhat mortified by the bare brutality of the lyrics.

The second high point is struck with "This Beach", which, at over 7 minutes, is the longest JUMP song I can recall, and it earns its breadth. Alternating between more monstrous guitar themes and shanty like verses, the best reference I can come up with is the monumental "Dust Bowl Dance" by MUMFORD and SONS, and the metaphysical relationship between the narrator and his physical environment represents an additional intersection. "Johnny V" is an arena rock paean to a departed DJ with a heavy metal fixation who introduced the singer to so many bands. Lots of philosophizing here about life and its elusive meanings, not all highly poetic, but none better than "appointed by the bar to spin the soundtracks of our lives". In the more reflective parts, the guitar style approaches MARK KNOPFLER, and an organ interjects appropriate reverence elsewhere. In tribute to Johnny, we are treated to the only seriously "over the top" moment, a lead guitar solo with all the appropriate twists in a 40 second burst, while the rhythm section is quite equal to the task.

"Staring at the Rain" closes the album in fine fashion, a rocker about life on the road, where this band has trod for the lion's share of its formidable lifespan with a magnificent riff on an album rife with them. This could have been a hit single during the era from which JUMP is so evidently inspired. Again some DIRE STRAITS references in the break, with maybe a sliver of WARREN ZEVON. I honestly don't know how JUMP manages to assimilate all its influences, but that they have done so while establishing their own selves as reference point is formidable.

If you have been waiting and wondering about test driving JUMP, I recommend taking the leap with this album and working your way backwards from there, because this is a band that continues to evolve while remaining as entertaining as ever.

 The Black Pilgrim by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.62 | 22 ratings

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The Black Pilgrim
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars If a band is truly British, and you give them a long enough leash, or perhaps shorten it, surely they will revert to the folk of their green isles. Such appears to have been the case with JUMP who, while having flirted with roots music throughout their quarter century, appear to have produced their first full fledged hybrid folk rock album in "The Black Pilgrim". While the subject matter and the arrangements offer validation of this perspective, this isn't a huge leap forwards, backwards or sideways from where they were, say on "The Beachcomber" in 2011, but it's also not that far from what the even more long lived OYSTERBAND have been proposing, with John Dexter Jones sounding like a more technically proficient version of that band's John Jones. Hmm, I wonder what his middle name is. They're both Welsh too.

All that aside, this is one of JUMP's more consistent albums, as in recent years the well of inspiration seems to have been replenished and then some. I could see almost any track as being somebody's favourite, but personally I am particularly fond of the sensitive "My Lady of the Fairground", the angst ridden rocker "Your Madness", the bass driven "Princes of Anger", and especially the oh so English "The Ballad of the Queen in the Morning", with a superb riff and authoritative melody.

If you are a fan of British folk rock with progressive accents, tight ensemble playing, wry lyrics and compelling vocals, do embark on a virtual pilgrimage to this 2013 release.

 Home Songs by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.08 | 14 ratings

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Home Songs
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars Bands like JUMP are perhaps as relevant today as they ever were, occupying a niche at the intersection of British folk and rock, with precious little in common with older or newer neo prog. They tend to compact vocal oriented message or story songs with a mix of hard rock and folk instrumentation. Rarely are their progressive tendencies allowed to dominate the meticulous arrangements. As a result, they can be given short shrift by prog "purists" demanding profligate 12 minute monstrosities, the likes of which might explain the copiousness of many neo discographies. Supply meets demand. By contrast, JUMP can only be judged on the quality of their output, not by whether or not they should have extended this or that guitar solo or made song X more complex.

Unfortunately, in the case of "Home Songs", that assessment is decidedly mixed. On the one hand are pleasant ditties like the opening cut or "The Witness", or tired and bland rockers like "The Better Part of Valour", "Never too Far", and "Fresh Young Thing". Tellingly, the only outstanding track, "My Little Eye", reminds me of Irish folk rock icon CHRISTY MOORE more than Moore himself. That is not a good sign for a band that struggles for identity beyond JOHN DEXTER JONES' glorious tones.

If you are looking for a first JUMP album, I would not recommend bringing these songs home, but if you are already a fan, you are unlikely to be terribly disappointed. 2.5 stars rounded down.

 The Black Pilgrim by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.62 | 22 ratings

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The Black Pilgrim
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Jump have been knocking about in the melodic rock arena for a good long time now, and it's evident from The Black Pilgrim that they have been evolving their sound considerably over the years. The last Jump album I heard was All the King's Men, which struck me as being a fairly flavourless melodic rock album with the occasional neo-prog flourish here and there.

Subsequent to this, they seem to have taken on a folk element to their sound, leading to a mashup of neo-prog and folk on The Black Pilgrim which is novel and competent but ultimately leaves me just as cold as their early work did. At points the songs seem to be fairly formulaic soapboxes for lyrics like those to The Eagle Has Landed, which seems to straight-facedly embraced Moon landing conspiracy theories in a way I find entirely risible. (It may be satirising them, though if it is I'm not seeing where that happens).

In a more musically intricate and nuanced release I'd be occasionally willing to overlook dubious lyrical subject matter, but when what you have here is a setup where the lyrics are that front-and-centre it's harder to get past this. What's worse, though, is that if I set that song aside I find that the rest of the album passes by perfectly pleasantly but nothing really stands out to me - and when the only bit of an album which makes you stand up and pay attention is its embrace of utter rumour-mongering nonsense, that's kind of a bad sign.

 The Black Pilgrim by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.62 | 22 ratings

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The Black Pilgrim
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars July 2013 saw the 12th studio album from Jump, one in many ways that they have been working towards throughout their career. Steve 'Ronnie' Rundle has taken on the bass role in addition to his normal duties, and the only guest this time is Alice Atkinson with violin on a couple of the songs (she also played on the last album). But this time Mo is also contributing accordion as well as keyboards and the two Steves have gone acoustic while Andy isn't as prominent as is usual. Yes, Jump have moved far more into the realms of acoustic folk, although to be honest the overall sound isn't as far removed from their normal sound as one might expect. As I have said before, I have always viewed Jump as an 'English' band as opposed to progressive, and with this album they have shown that they have much in common with the mighty Show of Hands, another band who have always stuck to their own agenda, playing hundreds of gigs and producing one wonderful album after another.

There is purity to this album that is hard to define, with one great song after another, full of emotion and wonderful music, while JDJ shows yet again why he is so highly regarded as a singer. Whatever song I am playing is my favourite, and I have found myself returning to this album time and again as it is such a delight from the start to the very end. Beautiful songs, extremely well constructed with great arrangements, careful thought being given to the amount of space required between the instruments and between the notes, with room for John to add to the magic. Back in 1991 Jump released their wonderful debut, 'The Winds of Change', and some 22 years later and countless gigs four of the six people who performed on that album are still there. Over the years their music has changed, and they have changed with it, but unlike many they have continued to grow and with this, in many ways their simplest and most roots-based album, they have created the finest of their career. Indispensible. www.jumprock.co.uk

 The Beachcomber by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.95 | 24 ratings

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The Beachcomber
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars One of the very few downsides of living on the other side of the world is that I am unable to see Jump in concert. Easily one of the hardest working bands around, they must have played thousands of gigs by now and always used to be prolific in their releases. However, it took five years from the release of 'Faithful Faithless' in 2005 for them to return with this at the beginning of 2010. The core line-up is basically the same, with the one and only John Dexter Jones on vocals, Steve 'Ronnie Rundle' on guitars/vocals, Steve Hayes guitars/vocals, Andy Barker drums and Mo on keyboards. But, bassist Andy Faulkner has been replaced by Phil Mayhew, and there are a few guests on strings and sax.

Jump have always had a very hard sound to define, progressive but not really, neo but not really, crossover but not really. In fact, the only way to think of them in my mind is as a band that plays English rock (a statement guaranteed to upset the very passionate Welshman who is the frontman). They really are one of the undiscovered joys of British music, a band that always out their all into their gigs and who consistently produce wonderful albums. I have been lucky enough to hear all of these, and to my ears they generally deserve at least a 4* rating, and with this their eleventh studio album in nineteen years they have yet again delivered the goods. "On Bended Knee" is a wonderful song, and is a fine example of the album, with guitars restrained yet full, with everyone working hard to ensure that the vocals are accompanied perfectly, complex yet with simplicity. Jump concentrate on producing well crafted songs, small stories with the perfect backing, and here are another 11 that are going to gain them new fans and please the old. For more details visit their website at www.jumprock.co.uk

 The Beachcomber by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.95 | 24 ratings

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The Beachcomber
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Being new to JUMP and their relatively obscure discography, I have arranged and rearranged periods of their past like so many jigsaw puzzle pieces, but for the interval between 1998 and 2010 lies a canyon of ignorance. In spite of this, "The Beachcomber" is instantly discernible as a product of this hard working and thinking band thanks to John Dexter Jones, the man with a voice so authoritative he needs 3 names! The twin guitars of the two Steves also have their say, and, while none of these facets have every sounded better, they are not the primary reason why "The Beachcomber" is the band's most compelling yet, absent company excluded.

The "big" sound always in evidence is here harnessed radiantly, and the tendency to split track personalities along uncomfortable divides is dispensed with. As a result, good songs become great ones, folkie numbers hit harder, and sparkling melodies are permitted more than a furlough. The opening track "Down three Times" reminds me of an early JULUKA song, but I suppose I'll never know if this is coincidence or not; either way it's a cracker. "Kingston Corner Blues" is an exquisite ballad, and "Rosetta Stoned" a tragic and poignant tale, limp pun aside. "No one Spoke" is the best example of the old JUMP merging with the new and the resulting improvement, as JONES talks on tune, and what a tune, and strummed electric guitar nirvana is realized; the muscular "Eyes on the Prize" is similarly illustrative. "The Sniper" sounds like a top shelf WISHBONE ASH ballad. "Suffering in Silence" drills home its message on a concise captivating chorus, while the album closer "Forgive me my Sins" returns to the balladic tradition with the added shades of a rare brass instrument. Needless to say, in the midst of all this emotive quality, the rare missteps of the superficial "Lennard's Blues" and the monotonous "On Bended Knee" are easily forgiven.

It's a pleasure to hear a very recent album by a long running band that reveals an entity fully intact and growing, seemingly by leaps and bounds, not just shriveling up on some beach with a few remaining fans doing the same. Highly recommended if you are into song oriented and folk influenced British prog.

 Living In A Promised Land by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.29 | 16 ratings

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Living In A Promised Land
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars "Living in a Promised Land" demonstrates marked maturity over the prior pair of JUMP releases. As per normal, the concepts and lyrics are almost as outstanding as the vocalist JOHN DEXTER JONES, but here we can actually tell what Jones is saying. This raises the caliber of basic rockers like the opener "The Man Who Worked". The messages affirm the band's identification with the commoner, consistent with the prevailing attitudes of folk music. However, as before, this JUMP album only flicks folk tints into the palette and remains primarily a crossover prog work rich in rockers and ballads, often on the same track.

Unfortunately, there are still times when the lyrics cannot save the musical concept from executing a mini Titanic. The ABACAB like "December's Moon", the hackneyed "Promised Land Blues", and the dreadful closer "Used to the Taste" all suffer from self inflicted wounds. But otherwise this is a pretty strong effort, even if only "Dreaming of Angels" and "The Pressed Man" might qualify as excellent. For instance, "April Day" begins as a sumptuous semi acoustic ballad before transforming into a rocker that succeeds in spite of a rather cliché chorus. The choice to eliminate pauses between tracks enhances their connectivity. Another favorite is "My Magic Touch" in which Jones dons a particularly pronounced Scottish inflection, but again a few of the similes verge on embarrassing, and not just, or even primarily because of their sexual references.

JUMP is a band that developed its own intriguing sound on the periphery of prog. In "Living in a Promised Land" they continue to sputter in efforts to balance their attack and refine their musical and lyrical message. Still, they know how to rock with conviction far better than most of the neo prog brethren with whom they are often compared, and remain a worthwhile listen as we wait for them to deliver on promises made or perceived.

 ...And All The Kings Men by JUMP album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.23 | 15 ratings

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...And All The Kings Men
Jump Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars My only prior exposure to JUMP as via a chance encounter with "The Myth of Independence". I enjoyed their brand of neo meets crossover meets olde English folk. This album was its immediate antecedent and proposes more of a hard rock mix at the expense of the neo prog and folk. Its dependence on unimaginative riffs makes it less casually listenable, and while the group has a lot to say, particularly about the monarchy and the government, and perhaps how the emperor has simply changed outfits, I'm less interested in the message than its oppressive medium.

Beginning with the quasi title cut, the album introduces clever well thought out concepts and executes them poorly around a hurried chorus devoid of melodic sensibility. This is seen again in "Seize the Day", "Judgement Day" and "Dangerous Devotions", while "George's Revolution" doesn't even provide that hook, which wouldn't be so bad if the track was more musically coherent, which it isn't.

So when this is bad, altogether too often, it's almost beyond redemption, and they could have employed any vocalist from JADIS or whomever, so why waste JOHN DEXTER JONES' glorious pipes? Luckily "Camera City", after starting like all the rest, morphs into a clever and catchy rocker, while "Share the Shame" and "Someone Else's Prayer Part 1" both showcase Jones and company in a better light. Even though "Two up Two Down" is somewhat cliche wit its a cappella start and riff ready figures, it does conjure a dreamy atmosphere that offsets the clunkier aspects agreeably.

I admit to being perhaps mired in unrealistic and unfair expectations re JUMP, but even as a compact song oriented take on neo prog it lacks dynamism at the expense of muscularity. If this had been playing while Humpty Dumpty sat on the proverbial wall, I think our egg friend would have enthusiastically jumped to his untimely demise.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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